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Unveiling of the Exterior Wall of the Transbay Transit Center in San Francisco

Unveiling of the Exterior Wall of the Transbay Transit Center in San Francisco

Unveiling of the Exterior Wall of the Transbay Transit Center in San Francisco

New Haven, Conn (March 4, 2016) – On Monday, March 7, Senior Design Principal Fred Clarke and Project Manager Randy Volenec will attend the unveiling of a panel of the wall, known as the “awning” that will wrap the entire four-block perimeter of the Transbay Transit Center, the state-of-the-art multimodal Transit Station in downtown San Francisco. Hosted by Executive Director Maria Ayerdi-Kaplan of the Transbay Joint Powers Authority, the event recognizes the inventive design as well as the collaboration between Pelli Clarke Pelli, TJPA, and the renowned mathematician, Sir Roger Penrose whose Rhombus Tiling pattern will cover the 120,000 square foot exterior the surface of the wall.

Sir Penrose’s remarkable discovery of the Rhombus Tiling proved that with only two rhombuses, a pattern can be extended infinitely without repeating itself (aperiodic, non-repeating). His tiling pattern continues to help mathematicians and scientists study the universe. There are specific convergences with the field of geology where the discovery of quasicrystals and their structures are virtually the same as the Penrose rhombus tiling. It is in the awning of the Transbay Transit Center that further extends Dr. Penrose’s theory to the field of architecture.

Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, architects for the Transbay Transit Center, collaborated with Sir Roger Penrose directly to incorporate the Penrose Rhombus Tiling in the design of the Transit Center’s exterior wall, known as the “awning.” The task of enclosing the Transbay Transit Center is complex because its extensive surface curves in two directions, thus presenting challenges of modularity, fabrication, and quality control. After a great deal of research, PCPA found the Penrose Rhombus Tiling to be an ideal solution as it fully accommodates all of the many unique geometric conditions in the wall in an elegant and buildable way. 

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